I'm a sucker for a baked brie. During the holidays, it's always on my roster - totally a crowd-pleaser.
So when the BC Blueberry Council sent along this recipe for what's essentially a gooey brie sandwich, stuffed with balsamic blueberry chutney - hello! Seriously.. it's simple and impressive looking - a spin on the traditional baked brie, except that it's the hot compote tucked inside and spooned overtop, making it a little less sloppy to serve.
I'm quite certain this will be well received on our buffet table this Christmas.
Layered Blueberry Hazelnut Cheese Wheel
5" round (350 g) Brie, Camembert or any soft rind cheese
1½ cups (225 g) B.C. blueberries - fresh or frozen
¼ cup (60 ml) red wine
2 tbsp (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp (30 g) brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon zest
2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice
¼ tsp (pinch) black pepper
1/8 tsp (pinch) salt
Sprig fresh rosemary
½ cup (75 g) hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Cut the cheese round in half horizontally. Place bottom half cut side up on a serving platter. Set aside at room temperature with the top half of cheese.
In a saucepan, bring the blueberries, red wine, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper and salt to a boil.
Simmer uncovered on a medium heat for approximately 20-30 minutes, until reduced to a thick compote.
Add the whole rosemary sprig in the last 2 minutes of cooking, then remove.
Spoon half the hot compote over the bottom half of cheese. Cover with the top half of cheese (cut side down) and top with remaining compote and hazelnuts.
Serve with fresh fruit and crackers.
Yield: 1 wheel and 3 cups of compote.